Benchmarks finished mostly higher on Wednesday following upbeat
quarterly results from healthcare and technology companies. Apple
and Biogen's impressive quarterly performances helped the S&P
500 and the Nasdaq close in the green. The S&P 500 closed at a
record level for the 26th time this year. However, analysts took a
dim view of Boeing's results and Caterpillar reported weak monthly
sales, leading to losses for the blue-chip index.
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Ahead of Wall Street
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) dropped almost 0.2% to close
Wednesday's trading session at 17,086.63. The Standard & Poor
500 (S&P 500) advanced 0.2% to finish at 1,987.01. The
tech-laden Nasdaq Composite Index closed at 4,473.70; gaining 0.4%.
The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) plunged 5.9% to settle
at 11.52. Total volume on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) was
about 2.8 billion. Advancers outpaced declining stocks on the NYSE.
For 56% stocks that advanced, 41% declined.
Shares of tech-bellwether Apple Inc. (
) went up 2.6% a day after the company reported third-quarter 2014
earnings per share of $1.28, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate
by 6 cents. Earnings also jumped 19.6% year over year. The iPhone
maker had reported its results after the markets closed on
Microsoft Corporation (
) had also reported fiscal fourth quarter earnings results after
the closing bell on Tuesday. The tech behemoth reported earnings
per share of 55 cents, less than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 60
cents. However, shares of the Dow component gained about 0.1% on
Wednesday as the company declared that it aims to get its
loss-making Nokia phone segment to break-even within two years.
Further, the recent restructuring plan to simplify its
organization, directional clarity and the decision to focus on
fast-growing segments that play to its strengths increased optimism
about Microsoft's shares.
Biogen Idec Inc. (
) reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings and sales
results. The bio-tech company reported second quarter 2014 earnings
per share of $3.48, better than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of
$2.80. Including one-time items, earnings increased 46% to $3.01
per share. The company posted second quarter revenues of $2.4
billion, above the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.1 billion.
Biogen also increased its guidance for 2014. The company now
expects earnings in the range of $12.90 - $13.10 per share, more
than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $11.69. Shares of Biogen
Biogen's impressive performance boosted bio-tech stocks. Shares
of bio-tech companies such as Gilead Sciences Inc. (
), Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (
) Amgen Inc. (
), Celgene Corporation (
) and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (
) increased 1.1%, 0.4%, 0.7%, 2.8% and 1.4%, respectively. The
Health Care Select Sector SPDR (XLV) advanced 0.8%, the biggest
among the S&P 500 sectors.
Shares of Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (
) surged 17.7%, a day after the company posted earnings per share
of $3.03 for the second quarter, beating the Zacks Consensus
Estimate of $2.76. Intuitive Surgical turned out to be S&P
500's biggest percentage gainer.
Among other positive results, Pepsico, Inc. (
) reported second-quarter 2014 core earnings per share of $1.32,
beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.23. Delta Air Lines
reported second-quarter 2014 adjusted earnings of $1.04 per share,
edging past the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.03 cents. Shares of
Pepsico and Delta Air Lines gained 1.9% and 3.9%, respectively.
The Boeing Company (
) reported adjusted second quarter 2014 earnings of $2.42 per
share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 19.8%. However,
shares of the company went down 2.3% as analysts were concerned
about cash flow and the rise in cost of its military tanker
program. The company incurred about $700 million in cost during the
development of its KC-46 refueling tanker. The drop in the share
price of the aerospace giant negatively impacted the blue-chip
Caterpillar Inc. (
) also weighed on the Dow after the world's largest equipment
manufacturer reported weak monthly sales in mining equipment and
engines. Shares of Caterpillar declined 1.5%.
Meanwhile, investors kept an eye on the recent ongoing tension
in Ukraine. A spokesperson from Ukraine's military operations said
two Ukrainian fighter jets were gunned down near the area where the
Malaysian Airline jet MH17 was shot down last Thursday. Meanwhile,
Israel continued its ground offensive along the Gaza strip despite
repeated appeals from the international community to cease military
Coming back to the domestic front, 7 out of 10 sectors of the
S&P 500 ended in the green. The Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE)
advanced 0.6%, the second highest among the S&P 500 sectors.
Key energy stocks such as Exxon Mobil Corporation (
), Chevron Corporation (
) and Halliburton Company (
) gained 0.7%, 0.9% and 1.0%, respectively.
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APPLE INC (AAPL): Free Stock Analysis Report
MICROSOFT CORP (MSFT): Free Stock Analysis
BIOGEN IDEC INC (BIIB): Free Stock Analysis
GILEAD SCIENCES (GILD): Free Stock Analysis
VERTEX PHARM (VRTX): Free Stock Analysis Report
AMGEN INC (AMGN): Free Stock Analysis Report
CELGENE CORP (CELG): Free Stock Analysis Report
REGENERON PHARM (REGN): Free Stock Analysis
INTUITIVE SURG (ISRG): Free Stock Analysis
PEPSICO INC (PEP): Free Stock Analysis Report
BOEING CO (BA): Free Stock Analysis Report
CATERPILLAR INC (CAT): Free Stock Analysis
EXXON MOBIL CRP (XOM): Free Stock Analysis
CHEVRON CORP (CVX): Free Stock Analysis Report
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